FORMER IBF light-middleweight champion Ishe Smith, 27-7 (12), was victorious in his hometown of Las Vegas on Thursday evening (April 30), unanimously outscoring Randallstown, Maryland resident Cecil McCalla, 20-2 (7), over 10 middleweight rounds at Palms Casino Resort in the main event of a Mayweather Promotions card.
Smith (155 1/2lbs) got the better of the opening session, and unloaded a fierce collection of unanswered blows shortly before the bell to end the second round.
The next three stanzas saw both fighters wildly fire away at each other, resulting in some entertaining exchanges, with Smith having the upper hand for the most part.
The pace of proceedings slowed somewhat in the second half of the contest, as McCalla (154 3/4lbs) attempted to make use of his jab more frequently, and untidy clinches occurred.
The final 20 seconds of the bout saw Smith open up once more with savage swings, forcing his opponent to cover up on the ropes.
Scores were 98-92 and 97-93 twice, all in favour of Ishe.
In chief support, Las Vegas-based Londoner Ashley Theophane, 38-6-1 (11), overcame Los Mochis, Mexico’s Mahonri Montes, 30-5-1 (21), via split 10-round decision in a competitive welterweight match-up.
In the early frames, Theophane (143lbs) sidestepped around the ring, thrusting out his jab, while Montes (142 3/4lbs) aggressively marched forward, pushing his rival back onto the ropes and targeting the body.
Theophane exhibited intelligent upper-body movement to evade much of what was coming his way, and also managed to connect with some swiping left hooks in the middle section of the clash.
Both men scored with shots in the eighth, and Montes displayed his toughness by standing up to some clean strikes in the next session.
In the 10th and final round, the pair went forehead to forehead, digging away at each other’s head and body. After soaking up some hefty punches, Montes uncorked a perfect short right hook to send Theophane to the deck. The Brit made it back to his feet just in time to hear the final bell, where he was declared the winner by two tallies of 96-93, against the same score in favour of Montes. There were some boos from the crowd following the announcement of the result, but the verdict seemed a fair one.